How To Build A Stone Patio

A patio can be a priceless landmark in your yard. And a classic flagstone/paver patio can be a perfect extension to almost anybody’s home. The material is elaborate, long-lasting, and neatly complements many other landscaping features.

And allowing you don’t have a patio on your property and intend to build a stone patio within your backyard; you can perform some particular actions to make the place more spectacular.

Building a patio is the same as assembling a puzzle. This article will provide simple step-by-step instructions to lay down your dream patio.

Choosing Your Stone Materials

Your patio can be made from natural stone or engineered. Concrete pavers are engineered stones. They can be square or come in natural stone shapes and be put together in various patterns.

When you like a natural look, opt for a natural stone patio. When choosing a natural stone for patios, your options are multitude.

Knowing the various types of stone available is best to determine what will work best. Consider your budget, coveted maintenance, patio usage, and home-style when choosing your materials for the patio project.


Although bluestone is famous for its elegant blue-gray hues, it can also be noticed in some green and rust tones. This stone is durable and will last many years.

When used as patio pavers, bluestone can be cut into numerous shapes like square, rectangular, and flagstone. Or perhaps, be bought in irregular shapes and jagged edges for a more natural look. It’s ideal for homes in colder regions since it’s freeze-resistant.


Because of its durability and versatility, granite is one of the most popular choices for patio pavers. This natural stone is universally available in various shapes, sizes, and colours, and they’re tough enough to receive many surface treatments to make different textures. It’s low upkeep, eco-friendly and cost-effective.


Fieldstones add some texture to the normal paver, creating a more rusting feeling. They’re irregular in shape, colour, and size. These naturally occurring stones are ideal for constructing stepping-stone pathways in your backyard and garden. Because no two stones are similar, every design is distinct.


A stone patio with a fireplace and chairs.
Brick is a timeless stone, perfect for creating a medieval look identical to a classic English garden. They’re often made of clay which gives them their unique reddish colour. Designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, a brick will keep its colour even with sun, rain, and wind exposure. They’re easy to clean with a garden hose.


Limestone is another popular choice for natural stone patio slabs because it comes in a wide selection of attractive and unique colour variations. It creates a durable, hardwearing, and long-lasting surface. It’s also known for its insulating properties; it’s unlikely to become so hot for bare feet in the summer or pretty freezing in the winter.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are an inexpensive substitute for pricier hardscaping stones. They can be applied in various patterns to establish different looks and come in diverse finishes that will simulate a more rustic, natural look. Pavers are solid and will remain unscathed for life, though their colour can fade in the long run.

Building A DIY Patio

Step 1. Check The Area Where You Plan To Put Your Patio

The patio location will define the degree of service you receive from it. Pick a spot you and your family like to bond and hang out most of the time. Ensure it has a slope not higher than 1/4 to 1/5 of an inch per foot so that you have adequate drainage but won’t have to erect retaining walls to brace your patio.

As you inspect your premises, determine what soil the area has. Soggy soil implies you will require more gravel in the project.

Step 2. Have A Patio Design

Outline your project on graph paper – let the square denote a square foot. Doing this will be a lot easier in assessing the materials you need. Check for pipelines and gas connections running through the desired spot, which may pop in as a cause for concern afterward.

Besides the area, the layout must define the floor level for the accessibility of the construction project and, eventually about, the drainage of water. Design completion is the most crucial before you begin working.

Step 3. Create The Proper Slope

Suppose you’re building a patio that will border the house, aim to slope the structure away from the home so water can drain off. About a 1-inch drop for every 4 feet is good. A 4-foot level with a 1-inch block of wood connected to the end is handy to indicate the proper slope as you dig. Use your yard’s natural gradient if doable.

Step 4. Dig Out The Base

Rent a skid-steer loader to remove debris and excavate the patio. If you reside where the ground freezes or drains inadequately, shovel at least 12 inches to protect your new patio from being lifted by frost. Those living in mild climates where sandy soil is present and drains nicely must dig down to 6 inches.

After clearing the dirt, compact the area with a rented plate compactor. You can wield a hand tamper for small spaces, though the plate compactor makes the task more comfortable and faster.

Step 5. Spread Landscape Fabric

Next, lay a weed control or landscape fabric on the excavated area. While it is not a required measure of the process, it will help you manage the weeds as they can grow between the patio stones sooner or later.

Ensure your landscape fabric is stretched out flat against the bottom of your excavation, with six to eight inches of the fabric overlapping on the patio. Then cut the fabric. Use spikes to secure it in place temporarily.

Step 6. Establish A Patio Base Of Gravel

A wheelbarrow resting on a stone patio.
Pour a 2-inches gravel base over the fabric. Dampen each layer with water to subdue the dust and pack it evenly. Use a tamper or a rented plate compactor to establish a firm base. Make two passes around the frame. Then tamp the center, first running one direction, then a second pass at a right angle to this.

Repeat the process of adding, dampening, and compressing each layer until the whole pack creates a 6-inch base. Don’t forget to keep the slope uniform.

If you have soggy soil and require more than four inches of the gravel base, add what’s necessary and compact them to match gravel conditions.

Step 7. Lay The Sand

Place two 1-inch PVC pipes parallel to each other in the center of the excavation. Add 1-2 in of leveling sand. This layer will fill in the cracks in the gravel and provide the paver stones with something to set down, giving extra stability.

Spread sand that is mainly for stone paver patios. Use the shovel and rake to apply it uniformly atop the gravel. Drag a straight 2-by-4 to smoothen the sand and mould a level surface. Work your way all through the patio area.

Remove the pipes, and fill in the spaces with more sand. Then tamp the entire area.

Step 8. Placing The Stones

Before placing the stones, situate strings parallel around the patio as your benchmark for your flooring to keep the patio straight.

Starting from one corner of the outer perimeter, lay the flagstone or pavers in the chosen pattern. Press the pavers gently onto the sand foundation, and work your way toward the middle. Add sand beneath the stone as needed to build a virtually flat surface.

Place pieces in spots where the natural shapes make tight joints with the adjacent stones. Attempt to avoid long lines of straight joints.

Leave a narrow space between every stone, about half an inch; you’ll stuff this gap later with more sand. Large gaps between stones favour weeds that will contribute to the irregular patio surface.

Often inspect the overall slope as you work farther from the house.

Step 9. Cut Stones To Fit

When needed, the pieces of stone can be cut to fit a particular space. When you arrive at a paver that won’t work, mark it with chalk so you’ll remember where you must cut.

Raise the edge that will be cut off by putting a piece of wood beneath the cut-line. Some tile or wet saws can cut stones, making them a practical option for a circular saw if you require multiple cuts. Or use a chisel and hammer if you only need a few stones cut.

Put on safety goggles, hearing protection, and a dust mask. Cut along that chalk line you drew earlier, and then place your paver. Repeat this process for the rest of the outside pavers. Tap them down with a rubber mallet.

The additional time consumed on the stone structure will ensure a decent-looking project and save plenty of time that would otherwise have to be used on defining the edges.

Step 10. Edge The Patio

Install a paver edge restraint bordering the edges of the patio to form a line between the patio and the lawn. If you need your patio to have a keen and unvarying perimeter, paver edging is the key.

Press the edge restraint tightly against the patio border and then hook the edge in position with 10-inch steel spikes hammered through the edger toward the ground.

Step 11. Fill The Gaps With Polymeric Sand

If you’re happy that the flagstones are perfectly vertical, you can stuff the empty spaces between the stones with polymeric jointing sand or stone dust from your stone dealer.

Jointing sand can provide a long-term substitute for usual sand. This substance has additives that act as an ultra-powerful bonding agent that firmly binds together concrete elements.

Scatter the polymeric sand over the flat stones. With a push broom, brush the sand over and around the pavers to sift the sand down through the gaps between pavers. Then tamp the pavers to ensure the sand spreads thoroughly.

Avoid filling joints with cement; otherwise, they’ll pop out in winter.

Step 12. Completely Remove Excess Sand

Clear the top of your patio using a leaf blower. Be sure not to blow any sand out of the joints. Also, please guarantee no polymeric sand remains over the pavers because they’ll harden after it comes into contact with water and discolour the patio.

Step 13. Hose Down The Entire Patio

After you’ve cleared all of the sand and dust, grab a hose, and spray the joints lightly. The water will trigger the binding agent in the sand to form a bond between the sand and the pavers, helping solidify the jointure between your pavers.

Ensure you don’t oversoak the area, or you could arrive with a swamp versus a cozy outdoor recreation room. Avoid spraying a powerful spout directly into the joints because this will flush away the tight sand or stone dust.

A mason’s pointing trowel also helps to compact wet stone dust into the joints.

Twenty-four hours are needed for the patio to lock fully. Remember to snip out any excess weed barrier around the patio’s perimeter.

Repeat adding sand, brushing, and watering for a week following construction to ensure a long-lasting finish.

Adding Landscaping Décor

A stone patio with tables and chairs and umbrellas.
Finish off by landscaping all over the DIY patio. You can set down some tables and chairs as furniture suits fantastic on the flat stones. Grow a perennial bed beside a small ornamental tree at the front of the patio to create a welcoming entrance. A table and several seats offer you a reason to relax and enjoy a hard-earned break.

You can also beautify your new space with garden décor elements like bird feeders and wind chimes. Install outdoor lighting to better your patio at night and extend its usefulness past daylight hours.

Maintaining Your Patio Stones

Even though your stone patio can withstand weather conditions quite well, you need to take care of it sometimes to keep them looking spotless and new. Usually, preventing damage is less expensive than repairing it.


The easiest way to maintain your patio is by sweeping. Everyday sweeping will remove debris before it has the opportunity to smear or damage the paving.

Prevent Weeds

Applying weed killer spray or manually pulling the plants are two methods to make your patio cleaner.

Ensure you buy a quality weed killer that won’t ruin or spoil your patio area. When you have some worries regarding your weed killer, try testing it on a small segment of your paver patio first.

Add Sand Between The Cracks

Use a small cup to spread polymeric sand into the entire stone joints. If you have no time to inspect every crack, you can apply the sand over your whole paver patio.

Remove Stains With Mild Cleaners

Moss and mildew can yield more stubborn stains on the exterior of your patio, so your stone pavers may require a little more caringness than your regular sweeping routine. Grab your hose and wash them.

Stick to mild cleaners–or just water! A mixture of mild detergent and water can help remove minor blots or dirty spots. An intense one will only peel the colour from your pavers and cause them to lighten.

Reseal Them

Resealing your paver patio will help safeguard it from elements, dirt, and other detritus. This will also stop stains from soaking into the stone. It’ll help if you reseal your patio every two to three years. Make sure you use a sealant meant for your type of stone and observe the directions for the sealant you choose.
An outdoor dining area with umbrellas and tables on a stone patio.

Final Words

Building a stone patio for beginners can be a little challenging at first. But following the leads mentioned above, the result will likely be entirely gratifying.

Make some room for errors, which is part of the procedure. Once your stone patio is built satisfactorily, it will amplify your home’s beauty in many ways. And remember, your patio will remain up to standard, provided you habitually maintain it.

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